Showing posts with label bus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bus. Show all posts

Honoring the Enchanted Valley Chalet

  In honor of the Chalet that probably wont last much longer.  I decided to put a fresh edit on some stock footage from a previous adventure.  Utilizing public transportation, human powered bicycle and my own two feet.   Covering just under 60 miles in my 4 days visiting the Olympic National Park.  I was blessed to see so much wildlife on this solo trip.  Countless Olympic Elk and numerous Black Bear just waking up out of winter hibernation.

  My most recent trip into the Quinault Rainforest, I got hammered with rain and heavy spring snow.  Looking back at this footage, cant help but feel blessed for having such good weather.  Didnt receive a drop of precipitation; wandering in my t-shirt most of  the time.

  Towards the end of the video, you can see how much of the meadow (where the building stands) the East Fork Quinault River has eroded away in the last few seasons.  Hope you enjoy this video, much as I did making it.  

Gear featured in film:  Footwear, backpack & camera used.

Consider an eBook download?

Hitchhiking and Public Transportation - Olympic National Park

  For the last 2 years I have used the bus system to get me around the Olympic Peninsula.   Choosing not to drive; public transportation is my primary source of travel when not walking or cycling.  I wrote previously on this topic, but want to shine more light on the topic in hopes that it will be valuable to travelers.

  During the '30+ Days in the Olympic National Park' trail series.  I relied heavily on hitch hiking and the bus system for my resupply.  Deciding after week 1 to only carry the maximum of 8 days worth of food at a time.

  This would mean I would have to come out to Lake Quinault, Forks, Brinnon or Port Angeles.  There is no shuttle system in place to get me from any of these towns to the trailheads.  Meaning I would walk the road until a nice person picked me up.

  A 20+ mile service road walk would be necessary if it weren't for kind people.  Nobody wants to walk a road after they have been on the trail all day.  Especially for someone in minimal shoes.  Man made crushed rock roads aren't the kindest to tender feet.

  Once out on the the main highway system that circles the Olympic Peninsula I catch various buses heading north or south.  This came in handy when I was trying to 'leap frog' or go to bigger stores for more food variety.  I also sometimes chose towns with a public library for communication purposes; since I do not own a cellphone.

  The public library system is a very valuable resource for someone drifting in the mountains.  The ability to check weather reports, look at tides, and talk to family are all pluses for a successful trip.

Olympic National Park bus
Unloading my bike in Amanda Park while Bus - Bikepacking 

Sol Duc Hike, Bike & Bus Training

  I'm so spoiled to get to Train in such a perfect environment.  While others in the City are in a constant stare at the wall; walking on the Treadmill.  I'm blessed to get to Train in the Olympic National Park/Forest.  Most of my thoughts and inspirations come to mind while spending time alone in the Great Outdoors.

  I am in the need to get my 'Biker Legs', since I plan on using mine for 'Trailhead Service' in some up coming Adventures.  After a 20 mile Trail Day; I would like to be able to bike out for another 20 miles.  Doing this without it killing me is the Goal.

  All of this is part of my Training for 30+ Days in the Olympics and 2013 Pacific Crest Trail Adventures.  Where I will be walking for distance every single day.

  To add to the bliss; the whole adventure cost me $3 + Food.

Elevation Training:
  Quick afternoon Hike with 4 miles of Switchbacks.  It rained the whole time, so there weren't any views this day.  The trail lead to an old Fire Watch Tower over the Sol Duc River.

Kloshe Nanitch Lookout
Kloshe Nanitch Lookout

Wandering South of La Push

  I had some free time to get Outdoors.  I will be doing a large section of the Olympic National Park Coast next month for my Birthday (read more below).  So I wanted to get a few little trips to condition my feet for Coastal Traveling, since its not my specialty.  There is a lot to deal with and isn't a 'Vacation' like every city human thinks.  There are a lot of variable, especially in the Winter.  You must deal with Tides, Rain Storms, Winds, High Surf Advisories, Coastal Flooding, More Mud and Higher River Fords.  All the while trying to plan a Route in all of that is kind of an extra life's pleasure.  The benefit is low Backpacker numbers and Bugs.  Which to me adds to more of a Primitive Wilderness Feel.

Strawberry Bay
Looking across to Scott's Bluff

  My adventure would lead me to Buspack, Buspack again, Backpack, Road Hike, Tribal Shuttle and Buspack.  Total travel expense $5.

Bike Elwha on Hot Springs Road

  This Winter has been inactive for me compared to the rest of the year I've had.   So I felt the need to put some elevation in my life.  Another Bike, Hike and Bus trip should do the trick.  Since the Elwha Valley is such a close trip for the town of Port Angeles.  It has been the trip of choice for a lot of my Adventure this Year.
  I jumped on the 7am Forks Bus with my Bike on a chilly Winter Day.  After a short bus ride I had the driver drop me off on Highway 101 where the road heads up the Elwha.  It was a chilly damp bike ride with temperature below freezing judging by all  the Frozen Mud Puddles along the Road.  It was a wonderful pre sunrise bike ride tho since the Moon was so bright it illuminated the whole Valley.

elwha moon

  I've traveled this trail may times.  So much in fact that I feel like I can close my eyes and walk it.  The body never gets usto some of the steep grades toward the top section.  Legs feel it the next day every time.  That is the main reason so often choose this trail.  I also like how the forest floor changes as you ascend.  Going through all the different stages as you change elevation.

lake mills

  I planned on there being more snow judging by the north facing amounts that I could view from town.  I planned on venturing further on the ridge, but didnt feel like bushwhacking over all the blow down debris.  So I traversed across a rock spin looking ridge line until I found a nice little place to have lunch with a view.

griff peak

  Descending was a breeze and I even greeted a few local day hikers on the way down.  Once back on the valley floor I enjoyed a little sun and a cup of Hot Tea.  The bike ride was mostly a downhill grade so not much peddling was required, but that did make it even more chilly tho.

hot springs road

Overview:  It was a good day.  Seems rare to have such good weather in December.  Good training on my legs and good to clear the mind.  

Camp at Rialto Beach

rialto beach

   I usually try to avoid popular places such as the Coast.   I set my sites for 'Hole in the Wall', which is North of Rialto Beach.  The weather the last few weeks have been marginally good for this time of year.  Just as long as you don't mind the cold.  I also have never took advantage of the bus route to do any Beach Camping.  I trusted the weather forecast, even tho it was pouring down rain in Port Angeles.  Crossing my fingers I packed my Winter Overnight Gear and recently tuned up Hard Tail Bike.

  In the middle of a cold damp rain I loaded my Bike onto the Forks Bus.  From Forks I transferred to the La Push Bus.  I was surprised on the size of the La Push Bus.  I was expecting a little shuttle, not a full size Bus with room for 3 on the Bike Rack.
  I was on a mission to Peddle the 5 mile road section to make the Coast for Sunset.  I just broke clear of the trees just as the sun sunk down behind the waterline.

bike rialto beach

  I arrived to the Coast at low tide, so it should make easy travel.  There is only so fast however you can travel in wet sand.  I had to hustle and find a campsite before it became completely pitch black.  Relying on headlamp to scout a campsite isn't as easy in the dark.

backpack rialto beach

hike rialto beach

   I arrived at my camp spot with a sliver of light left.   It was a very damp cold area.  Signs of recent Storm Surge that pushed lots of wood and debris into the trees were the sites were located.  I thought of it as a plus because i wouldn't have to go far to gather camp wood, but I would not want to be in there in a storm.  Yikes.
  It took me a good 30 minutes working on starting a fire.  With such a damp environment and all the 'Fuel' being completely saturated with water.  Once I had it going tho.  I had a blazing heat source to keep me 'warm' on a 29 degree night while I enjoyed 3 Adult Beverages.

rialto campfire

  The next morning I arose an hour or so before sunrise.  To start another Fire before the Sun came up.   I wanted to focus my attention into Photography and playing with my new Camera.  Before bed i stuck some really wet chunks of wood on the fire to try leave some coals for the morning.  Sure enough, I dug down into the ashes and found a chunk still smoldering.  With some little Tender and lots of lung power.  I had another fire going.  I love doing a 'no match fire' , I guess it makes me feel more Caveman Like...idno.

rialto camp

  I will note that I've never seen heavy frost on the Sand before.  The whole Coast Line was covered with a blanket of frost.  Even the Sand was coated with a Powdered Sugar type look.   Don't let the sun fool you.  It was cold.  Probably a why I never seen anybody on the Beach the whole trip.  In the summer there would be dozens of tourist in this spot.  Just a reminder that it is Winter after all.

frost driftwood

winter rialto

  The photography that Winter type camping reveals is breathtaking tho.  If I get super motivated I will return to a similar spot to do some more before Year end.

rialto sea stacks

rialto beach

  One of the highlights of the trip was finding a little Treasure.  A Japanese Fishing Float that may have been at sea for some time.  It was wedged in between some logs, probably from the last Storm.

coastal debris
Japanese Float

  While waiting for the tide to go out.  I spend a few hours in camp for a time of self reflection, think about my Lover and Son.  I also enjoyed a few cups of tea to help me stay warm.  I was thankful that I brought a bar of Chocolate to enjoy as well.  Can't be bored if you have Chocolate, that's for sure.  

rialto camping

  After tide went down I made quick work at breaking down camp and walking back down the Coast Line. The sun once again was starting to get low in the Sky.  As I got back to my bike, the temperature was already back around 32 degrees.  Judging by the Frost, Frozen Mud Puddles and Ice that was starting to form on my Beard during my ride back to 'Three Rivers'. 
  Once there I enjoyed a huge gut bomb consisting of a Chili Burger and a Basket of deep fried Curly Fries. Took a few hours for that thing to digest, I'm not going to lie.  At least it was all under 10 dollars.

three rivers resort

  The Bus ride back consisted of warming my body, reviewing pictures and listening to my MP3's.  I was back showered in bed with 15 minutes before I had to go to sleep for my usual 4am wake up call the next day.  

FootwearCamera and Hiking Guide used.

Overview:  Even tho it was cold, just like any other Winter Camp.  The rewards of not dealing with bugs and tourists were priceless.  I plan on going back soon.  
p.s. Total out of pocket travel expense was $5 round trip ;-)

Elwha Dam Removal

  Thought I would get a quick few hours of fresh air in before big Turkey Day.  I decided to venture out to the 'Elwha Dam Removal Viewpoint'.  Riding the Joyce Bus only took around 20 minutes outside of Port Angeles.    Just a short walk off of Highway 112; reaching the little trailhead which is almost straight off the road and is well marked.  Brand new trail and signs were built for this viewpoint.

elwha dam removal
Water rushing thru the right channel - late autumn 2011

Olympic National Park Map
New Olympic National Park Trail Sign

  After a short walk on a well used trial.  I arrived at the lookout and could just feel the water roar.  There has been a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest the last 72 hours.  It was kinda cool seeing the logs and debris shoot off the man made waterfall.

  You could also see where the river was trying to break the channels that the engineers created to try to direct the river.  Mother nature doesn't listen to man and it will be interesting to see what happens the next week or so.

elwha dam removal
Water rushing through a blasted opening in the Elwha Dam

  I would defiantly suggest bringing your Kids to this viewpoint.  The Webcams that the Olympic National Park Service set up to view are cool and all, but to feel the mist hitting your face is way more memorable.

Update 10/29/12

  My body is in desperate need of some cardio training after a lazy month of rest.   I decided to take my bike out for a spin.  With the primary mission of wanting to cruise the Lower Elwha and explore the autumn colors.

  This winter I'm very bless to have residence in a place so close to the Elwha Drainage.  I can explore the whole valley on foot or cycle the next few months.  The area is literally out my back porch.

highway 112
Cycling Highway 112 during autumn

  After a short ride I arrived at the Elwha Dam Removal Observation Trail.  To my surprise there was no longer construction equipment on site.  The whole area was quiet with only the sound of river in the distance.

  The former Lake Aldwell was also completely drained.   Mans replant and preserved trees could be seen where water once covered the land.

elwha dam
Former Elwha Dam Site - Autumn 2012

Mushrooms in autumn color

A beautiful coffee table book on The Undammed Elwha River.